We’d like to introduce you to our next blogger, fromgmattomba, an anonymous MBA applicant who describes himself as “a pretty average dude” with a mission to attend one of his top choice b-schools. Thank you fromgmattomba for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck! (Readers: Don’t forget to check out the fromgmattomba blog!)
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What's your favorite movie?
fromgmattomba: A little bit about me – I'm originally from Austin, TX, and in undergrad I studied Economics at the University of Texas. It's tough to pick just one favorite movie (I probably have several in each genre), but one that I'll always watch is Pulp Fiction, it's a classic.
Accepted: What stage of the MBA admission process are you up to so far? Where do you plan on applying? Will you apply to safety schools?
fromgmattomba: Right now I'm applying to my R2 schools (Booth and Kellogg), having already taken the GMAT and having already been dinged at both R1 schools (Columbia and Wharton). All four are definitely reach schools for my profile and I don't really plan on applying to safety schools this year. My contingency plan is to reapply next year with a broader application process if things don't pan out this year, but since I have a bit of time on my side I am only applying to my absolute top schools this year.
Accepted: How do you plan to compensate for a "low-ish" (as you put it) GPA? Do you have a strategy worked out?
fromgmattomba: Hmm, I think it's tough to compensate for really, but one tried and true option is to retake an accredited course and ace it. Unfortunately, since I had to retake the GMAT over the summer, I didn't have time to take a course to bolster my profile before application season (and all the essay writing that goes with it). So this has now become part of my reapp strategy, and something that I plan to point to as my "what is different about you now?" piece that most reapplicants need to address.
Accepted: Congrats on your amazing GMAT score! What would you say are your top 3 GMAT test prep tips?
fromgmattomba: It wasn't easy, but I firmly believe that if I can do it, anyone can. I think there are some stats out there that back me up, regarding hours put in and score results. Anyway, my top 3 test prep tips:
1. Trust your test prep on test day (don't try something crazy).
2. Targeted studying is vital.
3. Remain constantly aware of your time spent per question and the likelihood you'll get it right with additional time .
Mastering this trade off, for me, was the whole point of the test (executive decision making and all that).
Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When and why did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience so far?
fromgmattomba: I started my blog a little after my very first GMAT test, but the reason I started it was so people could follow a pretty average dude through the whole MBA application process. The idea is that I will give a detailed look at everything involved in the process, good and bad, while maintaining enough anonymity to speak candidly about each school. I wanted people to understand me and my applicant profile and I also wanted it to be entertaining and informative, something people could relate to. Ideally, I hope it's a blog that helps people get/stay motivated to take on their own MBA journey, but it's also a little self-serving as a space for me to vent :).
One of the most surprising things about starting this blog is the community of fellow MBA applicant-bloggers that I've met and chatted with. It's a very welcoming and friendly community (shout out to Bschool Admit, CaveGirlMBA, Coffee Beans and Tea Leaves, Domotron, TheMBAStory, expectingmbamilf, hamm0 and everyone else who has commented on/liked/encouraged my blog)!
Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com's blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your MBA/EMBA journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.